“Cecilia Parsberg’s artistic practice have often brought her towards the hazardous and complex but important and necessary political undertaking in speaking about the other, the marginalized or underprivileged of society (engaging both sexual, social and political displacement and suppression in her work), or the underdogs in a political conflict such as the Palestinians; generating challenging works of art, blending documentation and activism, where often the artist herself is present as witness, investigator, mediator, supporter.” (2006 Jan-Erik Lundström, BildMuseet, Umeå)
The blank canvas reflect the way I see and handle things. It’s about making contact with what I see. I need the other, a response, to make images. Sometimes in the gap between different perspectives, the language cracks. It is my hope that art will make visible this in-between space – which seems difficult to talk about – as a space for action; and thus contribute to the possibility for political action in and about this space.
I worked in Johannesburg and Soweto monthly periods during the years: 1999-2001. What I experienced in South Africa changed my life and the way I think about the role of art. How I see others and make images. I try to spot and explore which medial, linguistic, mental images that are set in play – collective as well as individual – in order to produce and activate images.
During 2004-05 I made the project 4U! with some people living in Rinkeby. Rinkeby is probably the most wellknown suburb to Stockholm, the “first stop” for many immigrants. In Rinkeby 110-120 languages are spoken and we translated the word Power in almost all these languages. We had around hundred very interesting and quite long conversations with people in Rinkeby and we discovered that the meaning and the use of the word Power varies in different languages. A permanent piece was made, a wallpaper covering the walls in “Folkets Hus” a five-storey high building. This work was also presented in a travelling exhibition in Sweden produced by Riksutställningar.
2001-06, Palestine/Israel. With painting, poetry or to connect with each other on opposite sides it’s possible to make openings in the wall and voices be heard over borders. I studied facts on the ground, collaborated with people at site and produced some exhibitions, web sites and films. These websites describe the socio-political context where the art projects were made: http://this.is/Jenin and http://this.is/TheWall
The film A Heart from Jenin tells the story of Ahmed: the 12-year old Ahmed was shot by an Israeli sniper in Jenin camp, West Bank. Ahmed’s parents decided to donate their son’s heart to Israel. A 12-year old girl from Haifa, Israel, received Ahmed’s heart. The families have since then regular contact. A gift exists when there is a receiver, it’s a mutual thing.
Now, I continue this research in the project: How do you become a successful beggar in Sweden?
See the full length version of BORDER (animation, 2012)